As of September 16, 2013, automotive authority AAA predicted "no more sub 3 dollars a gallon gas." Translation?  After logging more than 1,000 days at $3 per gallon or higher nationwide, gas prices are no longer expected to decline to below $3 again—ever. Sob. However, while we may not have control over the baseline retail price of the fuel our vehicles require, we can still "vote with our wallet" by patronizing only those fuel vendors whose street prices are set with the consumer in mind.

I say this because, as a former gasoline marketer for a major international oil company, I happen to know firsthand that there are two basic pricing strategies in the retail fuel industry. Strategy 1: Price high and make your money on pure profit. Strategy 2: Price low and make your money on quantity sold. Not only is Strategy 2 a better choice for profitability reasons, but it also earns customer loyalty like nobody's business. So if you’re on the hunt for a new, local, low-price gas station to give your allegiance to, I hope these free gas-finder apps will help you achieve just that!

1. Gas Cubby/Fuelly

  • For iTunes (free)
  • An Android app is in development

Gas Cubby has recently joined forces with Fuelly to provide a greatly expanded online and mobile experience for consumers searching for ways to save on fuel costs. Currently there are two iOS versions of Gas Cubby—a free version that’s sponsored (a.k.a. "with ads") and a paid version that’s ad-free for $2.99. Gas Cubby can track fuel-use by mileage and maintenance, store vehicle data, send reminder prompts and keep detailed trend records across synced devices.

2. YP Local Search & Gas Prices

The Yellow Pages is back and more comprehensive than ever with its new, interactive, mobile app. This handy, free app helps you search more than 18 million entries and keep tabs on your favorites in a variety of categories. The fuel-price finder delivers phone numbers, maps, directions, ratings from other customers, photos—even coupons!

3. Gas Guru 

This app is also from Yellow Pages, but it focuses exclusively on finding low gas prices (versus helping you map out a gas-friendly itinerary that may include other types of businesses). One of the best aspects of this app (aside from the fact it’s free) is that the pricing is guaranteed accurate because it comes through the app directly from OPIS (Oil Pricing Information Service). The app will give you detailed pricing information for all grades and all fuel types and turn-by-turn directions.

4. Gas Buddy

It's hard to go anywhere online in a search for the best cheap-gas-price-finder apps and not encounter Gas Buddy. The app is so well respected that its main competitors charge for the same type of service! Gas Buddy is the app of choice for more than 32 million drivers—and a robustly loyal user community that helps keep pricing updated in exchange for the chance to win great prizes like cash and free gas.

5. Dex Mobile 

Dex Mobile is similar in many ways to the Yellow Pages apps, in that it does much more than simply finding the cheapest, closest gas station and directing you to it. The app will also show you the top three cheapest stations in order.

6. Poynt

Poynt offers cheap gas price comparisons for the US, Canada and the UK. This is the app to have if you’re driving and driving, watching your gas gauge drop steadily and there’s no station in sight. The app will find the closest station, price-compare nearby stations, then "poynt" you in the direction of the station you choose.

7. Wayze Social 

Wayze goes beyond the traditional cheap-gas-finder apps by helping you find the cheapest prices and the cheapest routes. The Wayze community generates the traffic and pricing data and then benefits from the same. The app will also automatically generate re-routing instructions if traffic conditions worsen further along the route you’re taking.

8. Gas Mileage Calculator

Finally, this app is best used as a companion to the gas-price-finder apps listed here. While some apps do offer their own mileage calculator helps, this standalone, free app is simple to use and will keep records of your mileage, expenses and even per-unit fuel costs.

 

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8 Free Gas-Price-Finder Apps: Save Precious Pennies at the Pump